A heartwarming and hilarious romantic debut about falling in love from afar. It's 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty.
By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange. At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them.
By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he really is, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say to her? 'Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mails - and also, I think I love you'. After a series of close encounters, Lincoln decides it's time to muster the courage to follow his heart, and find out whether there really is such a thing as love before first-sight.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 02/02/2012
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781409120537
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.
Review by elliepotten
If I had to describe this novel in one sentence, it would be: "All my favourite Nora Ephron movies rolled into one, only in book form." The fantastic thing is that I'd been telling people this all the way through the reading experience - Tweeting about it, nagging my mum and sister to read it - and then in the last third of the book ROWELL NAME-DROPS THE NORA HOLY TRINITY (<i>When Harry Met Sally</i>, <i>You've Got Mail</i> and <i>Sleepless in Seattle</i>, OBVIOUSLY), two of which are amongst my favourite movies of all time. I actually giggled out loud in delight when she mentioned them, and firmly believe that if <i>this</i> movie isn't already in production (with Rowell writing the screenplay herself) it's probably only a matter of time... So, what is this book actually ABOUT? Well, it's about two friends, and a man. The two friends are Beth and Jennifer, who work for the same newspaper and email each other constantly using the company's internal email system. Unfortunately, these emails regularly break the company rules (mostly by containing flagged words, however innocuously), which is where Lincoln comes in. He's a twenty-something computer geek who's had his heart broken and now lives back home with his mother. It's his job to sit in the IT department every night, reading all flagged emails and sending out warnings to offenders about their computer usage. Except... he never does warn Beth and Jennifer about the frequency of their misdemeanours. Because he's starting to get drawn into their lives and enjoys reading their funny, compassionate exchanges. Worse, he's starting to fall in love with Beth, a woman he's never even laid eyes on. Can he ever find a way to meet her and make this work, despite his (admittedly sort-of legitimate) violation of her privacy? This book has SO much going for it - one of the main things, of course, being the wonderful characters. Lincoln has all the sweetness of a Tom Hanks romantic lead (there I go again with the Nora), mixed with the lifestyle of the boys from <i>The IT Crowd</i>, only he's built like a Hemsworth. A Thor-shaped Hemsworth. Jennifer and Beth are so funny and normal and real that reading their epistolary sections (which make up a good chunk of the book) felt more like reading genuine emails or instant messages between friends. In fact, at times it reminded me of my relationship with my bookish friends - our funny emails and comment-conversations and hilarious Tweeting marathons. Their emails made me laugh, and occasionally I had to remind myself that these were fictional women, not real ones! The other HUGE thing <i>Attachments</i> has going for it is the sheer wealth of pop culture references and the nice dose of 90s nostalgia. I made a list of some of the awesomeness Rowell mentions throughout the novel, which aside from the Nora-ey goodness includes references to: personality quiz websites, <i>Heathers</i>, the <i>Little Women</i> movie with Winona Ryder (which I always loved!), <i>The Matrix</i>, Eddie Vedder, <i>Toy Story</i>, the Y2K millennium bug panic, <i>Superman</i>, <i>Batman</i>, <i>X-Men</i>, Kevin Smith movies, <i>The Fresh Prince of Bel Air</i>, the Backstreet Boys, Bridget Jones, <i>Cheers</i>, the BBC adaptation of <i>Pride and Prejudice</i>, <i>Four Weddings and a Funeral</i>, <i>Lord of the Rings</i>, the <i>Pokemon</i> movie (with special reference to Pikachu), <i>Fight Club</i>, <i>Freaky Friday</i>, VHS tapes, VCRs with clocks, <i>The Sixth Sense</i>, <i>The Stepford Wives</i>, <i>Titanic</i>, Christopher Walken, James Dean, Gandalf, <i>Billy Elliot</i>, Jane Austen and <i>Star Wars</i>. ALL IN ONE BOOK. I think me and Rainbow would get on just fine... Other people have mentioned the 'mutual stalking' thing in their reviews - Beth is sort of following Lincoln around while he's reading her emails - but I think the overall concensus is right. In the wrong hands, it could have been really creepy and uncomfortable to read, but Rowell walks the fine line between 'wrong' and 'kooky' with great precision. After all, reading flagged emails is Lincoln's job, and it was very easy to imagine him getting drawn into Beth and Jennifer's lives without having any dodgy motives. Let's face it, fifteen years down the line it's so easy to get drawn into other people's conversations and issues via platforms like Twitter; the only difference here is that more private moments are discussed because it's technically private email. Likewise, Beth watching out for Lincoln is also totally believable - what girl HASN'T hung around somewhere waiting for their crush to walk by, or sneakily followed them somewhere to find out what they like? I certainly have, especially when I was a teenager! Sooooo, what I'm basically trying to say is that this book is really, really good. It made me laugh OUT LOUD within the first few pages - so much so that I scared the cat - and continued to make me smile and giggle until the very end... Yet it also made me cry, over Lincoln's loneliness and over the sheer perfection of his inevitable declaration of love to Beth at the end of the novel. It was definitely the 'EEEEEEE!' moment that comes at the end of a good rom-com, only on paper! Admittedly I was a bit thrown by Beth's behaviour just prior to this declaration (the cinema scene, if you've read it already), which seemed totally out of character and a very bizarre thing to do - but what followed made the suspension of disbelief worthwhile. That completely incongruous moment was the only thing coming between this book and a full five-star rating. I'm SO glad I finally read it; the prose is just delicious, the characters are the right side of kooky, the premise is quirky, it may have ruined me for all chick lit ever, and I'm now feeling an urgent need to go and watch every Nora Ephron movie I own. After that, my priorities look like this: 1) Read <i>Fangirl</i>; 2) Buy <i>Eleanor and Park</i>, and 3) Preorder everything Rainbow Rowell is ever planning to write, even some things she hasn't thought of yet. If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!
Review by shanaqui
I unexpectedly adored this. I was tempted to stay up late to finish it. I pretty much devoured it. I feel the urge to defend it against bad/lukewarm reviews. And I don't even really know why -- there's something in the writing style, the characters, the warmth I feel from it. I love that it deals with heavy issues like self-esteem and miscarriage and self-loathing without making them seem incidental and trivial: Lincoln falls in love with Beth partly because of how she comforts Jennifer, and so did I. She seems a wonderfully warm character, wise, and yet not perfect. If she were perfect, she would have seen her relationship with Chris for what it was. Jennifer is a side character, but she's not just a plot device: I cared about her issues with having a baby, with her grief and guilt. I cared about Lincoln's mother's issues, his sister.Also, I loved the nostalgia. I was a kid at the time, I guess, but I still remember the new millennium, the worry about the Y2K issues with computers, and I remember those email filters on the school computers and... I think that's likely to seem like a completely different world to readers only a little younger than me, but I was a bit charmed by the nostalgia factor there.Bottom line, it's not a life-changing book, it's not going to shake your world view in any way. But it's enjoyable and sweet, and I loved it. It's a chick flick in novel form, in terms of theme and plot, but it takes serious things seriously, and that makes the whole thing work.
Review by TPauSilver
Gosh, I love Rainbow Rowell. Attachments is a love story set as the internet was becoming a thing in the workplace. A paranoid company pays this one guy to sit and read any e-mails the system flags as inappropriate. Through this, he comes to know Beth and Jennifer - two goods friends who's chatty e-mail exchanges often get flagged by the system. The problem is, Beth and Jessica don't know him and maybe he gets in a little deeper than expected. Rainbow's prose is always delightful. Her characters fully acknowledge how messed up their situation is but that they're doing it anyway. Everyone comes away as a better person and truelovehappyending *heart eyes*.
Review by Tarklovishki
It started off interesting but I lost interest halfway through. Perhaps I'll need to re-read it.
Review by Amberlouichu
This is such a warm and light-hearted read that has you laughing out loud with the witty interactions between characters and the overall relationships that form.Lincoln hates his job checking the emails in the workplace to see if employees are misusing the system until he grows attached to two women and their hilarious interactions. He starts to fall in love with one of the girls and this is the story of what happens when you fall for a personality and how to be a stalker correctly.I loved all the characters in this book, they were all extremely believable even if the situation was a bit far-fetched. You find yourself attaching yourself to them very quickly and you get through the book at break-neck speed just because you want to know how it all pans out.It's a cute love story with a twist and definitely worth the read. Rainbow Rowell writes in such a way that grips you and keeps you awake into early hours and I love that. I give this book 4 1/2 stars as there were moments where I wasn't connecting completely to the story or characters but overall a really satisfying, easy read.